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Saturday 13th September 2003


Big, big game.Reading riding high in the league and then what happens? Allan Pardew, our manager of 3 years quits the club for.....West Ham.The traitor wasn't there for the game, as a court injunction delayed his appointment by a month.He didn't miss much.After an initial 20 minutes where West Ham scored once and looked to run riot, the game settled down to a boring midfield tussle(just like most games this season then!!)

So, here we were setting off from the "cross" in Yateley on a fine sunny day
Ah yes, East London and the ubiquitous tower blocks!!
In the pub and a nervous looking hog...Maybe he'd just read the poster near his head

Pretty heavy police presence considering they were only playing Reading!!

And so off to the Reading end...

Decent crowd....30,000 plus

Game on....
<a href="hammovie.mpg"> <img src="hamcrowd.jpg" border="0" align="left" width="160" height="120" vspace="10" hspace="20" /> </a><br>you aint got the capability for video<br>

Video of a Reading near miss
Trademark and Mike enjoying the sun

And nick and I more so....getting some rays in before heading to Spain

Fans report

A fter all the hype, build up and emotions on the past week, in the end the actual game turned out to be a bit of an anti climax and a damp squib.
I found the whole thing a bit bizarre, the buzz on the train on the way up to London was amazing as we shared banter with old fat blokes in Chelski shirts bulging at the seams, where have they all suddenly come from!
Anyhow, arrived at Upton Park in brilliant sunshine and whilst sharing a plate of eel pie and mash with some Hammer fans (who were a credit to their club) most of them either didn't have a clue who Pardew was or what he had achieved in the game, nor did they want him, it's Brooking they all want to a man.

Pardew is history though, and if things don't work out for him, he could always sell hot dogs outside the ground. As for the game, it certainly didn't live up to hype, had it not been for a piece of schoolboy marking at the corner for their goal, we'd have got away with a 0-0. We played poorly and West Ham certainly had the better chances but Yankee Doodle Dandy had a stormer with three outstanding saves, I can't recall James having to make one save.
We certainly were not either disgraced or outclassed but to come away disappointed with a 1-0 away at West Ham shows how far we have come as a club. Couple of comments, Forster, you greedy git, he had a dreadful game and has got to start passing, chances come few and far between the higher we go, he must start looking up and giving it. Murty who usually shines had a mare, he's great going forward but must learn to defend and especially learn how to time his headers, his balls up led to the corner where they scored. The rest did ok, but it was never going to be our day.
Brilliant support in what I thought was a bit of a dump of a ground, as for the three mile queue for the tube after, what the bloody hell is that all about! Massive games coming up, two homes ones, starting with the Taffy Arabs on Tuesday, JM should give Kevin Dillon a chance, don't rush into decisions, great coaches don't always make great managers. Give him half a dozen games or so then see how things stand, what ever happens Dillon is a vital and loyal part of this clubs future.
Finally if you do see a grey haired bloke in a track suit with AP on it selling hotdogs outside the ground on Tuesday, don't buy one!

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